Saturday, July 29, 2006

Conflicted Existence

How can I be profoundly Christian in a corrupt world?

I am part flesh, part spirit. Part American citizen, part disciple of Christ. The kingdom of God is here, yet I wait to see it in its fullness as I continue to live in this broken world. I am obligated to obey the law of the land, yet I am also called to obey Jesus's commands. These two parts of my existence come into conflict daily. In recent times it has become increasingly difficult to remain faithful to the lordship of Christ in a country that continually acts in contrast to his commands. The Christian is left to ask himself or herself, can I be a loyal American citizen while remaining true to the lordship of Christ? Do I excuse government policies since we live in a broken world and it's all going to burn anyway or do I speak out against ungodly practices? do I conform to American traditions or do I live my life as a stark contrast to socially accepted norms? Over the next few weeks we will discuss topics that become problematic for an American trying to remain faithful to Christ. Among the topics will be the pledge of allegiance, voting, war, taxes, capital punishment, prisons, and many others.

A great friend of mine once preached a sermon from the book of Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to bow down to worship the image of gold. The key part of the text is found in Daniel 3:4-7 and it reads, "4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, "This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace." 7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up."

My friend asked his audience the same question I present to us now, do we today fall down at the sound of the horn? Anytime the Christian hears the pledge of allegiance or the drums of war, should he or she simply fall down like everyone else or like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego should he or she dare to stand in opposition to those who deny the lordship of Christ by their actions? So this week I encourage you to prepare your own thoughts as together we begin to better understand our conflicted existence.


Coming Soon: Pledging Allegiance To Christ


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